The way I see it, a monitoring portfolio is not complete without a synthetic monitoring solution. For many companies there is always traffic, but this is not the case for most. Even in constant traffic situations, a synthetic solution won’t do any harm.

What is synthetic monitoring?

Let’s take a step back. The end-user monitoring category has two variants: synthetic and real user. I define synthetic monitoring as simulating end-users according to a predefined click path with the aim of clarifying the availability and performance of an operating process in an application.

Since 2006 I’ve gained experience of a number of synthetic monitoring solutions, and I regard the HP solution as the best of them for most companies.

What is AppPulse Active?

Since 2014 HP AppPulse Active has positioned itself in the market as a lightweight, synthetic monitoring solution in the cloud. HP AppPulse Active is based on an enterprise platform that has been used by companies all over the world since as far back as 2005.

Operating processes and transactions

HP AppPulse Active measures operating processes in applications as experienced by a user. It is important to choose an operating process that is frequently used and comes into contact with all underlying infrastructure components. An operating process contains various actions and 1 or more actions can be merged into a single transaction, such as homepage / login / search_user / logout. For each transaction AppPulse Active measures Performance and Availability.


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VuGen scripts and BPMs

The basis of HP AppPulse is formed by the VuGen scripts and the BPMs. Scripts are made in VuGen (Virtual User Generator). VuGen is able to settle complex correlations in applications such as session IDs and more. VuGen is actually what forms the strength of AppPulse. This can be attributed to the large number of protocols that VuGen supports, whereas most competitors are web-only.

Among others, VuGen supports for HTTP(S):

  • Citrix (XenApp and XenDesktop)
  • ODBC (Oracle, DB2, Sybase)
  • Windows Sockets
  • RMI
  • IMAP
  • Siebel

The BPMs (Business Process Monitors) are the measurement points / robots that execute the scripts and therefore behave like end-users. BPMs can be used externally (on the internet) or internally (in a business network).

What information does AppPulse Active provide?

Availability and performance figures over time.


If you want more details about a transaction then you can also execute a network breakdown per transaction. apppulse-active-network-breakdownAnd finally a component breakdown over all images, JavaScript libraries and more.apppulse-active-component-breakdown


You can of course also be alerted if the performance or availability figures exceed or fall under certain thresholds. Performance is divided into four thresholds: OK, Minor, Critical and Failed. Availability has only 1.

The great thing about AppPulse Active is that you can set up alerts for both Performance and Availability. You can also configure the number of transactions for which an alert is generated. The method most commonly used is for 3 of the 5 measurements. This rules out false positives!


Predictive analytics is a new functionality that is not yet commonly found in other synthetic solutions. This involves predicting possible faults on the basis of previous measurements and optimising the thresholds. This basically amounts to baselining your figures to improve the monitoring. Alerts that actually tell you something useful.



Do you have any questions about the info on this page, or would you like to do a Proof of Value with HP AppPulse? If so, leave your details below. We can discuss this by telephone and possibly even make a start. If you would like a more detailed information, that can always be arranged at your location. I look forward to hearing what you think of this!